Tech Published: 8 April 2024 Update: 8 April 2024

Apple TV With Camera Again Rumored After tvOS 17 Added FaceTime

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A future Apple TV box could have a built-in camera for FaceTime and other video calling apps, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.

tvOS 17 added a FaceTime app to the Apple TV, allowing for users to have video calls by using the rear camera on a connected iPhone or iPad. If the Apple TV gained a built-in camera, users would no longer need to rely on an external device.

In his Power On newsletter today, Gurman said an Apple TV with a camera would support “gesture-based controls,” but he did not provide any additional details. Starting with updates like iOS 17, macOS Sonoma, and tvOS 17, you can make hand gestures during video calls in the FaceTime app and other video calling apps to fill the screen with 3D effects. For example, you can hold two thumbs up to show fireworks on the screen, or make two peace signs with your hands to show confetti. It is unclear if Gurman is referring to this feature, or if there would be all-new gesture-based controls for tvOS overall.

In other home-related news, Gurman said Apple has also considered a “lightweight smart display” that could be used around the house.

Here’s everything he said about these devices:

Then there’s the smart home segment, where Apple still has grand ambitions. It has discussed automating household functions and offering a revamped Apple TV set-top box with a built-in camera for FaceTime videoconferencing and gesture-based controls. And the technology will all work seamlessly with both the iPhone and Vision Pro.

One piece of the strategy is a lightweight smart display — something akin to a low-end iPad. Such a device could be shuttled from room to room as needed and hooked into charging hubs stationed around the house. Apple has started small-scale test production of the screens for this product, but hasn’t made a decision on whether to move forward.

It is unclear if or when these devices will be released. Gurman previously reported that a new Apple TV would be released in the first half of 2024, but it is unclear if a camera would be added to that particular model, or if it is still further away.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

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